CyberGhost vs. ExpressVPN

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Oct 5, 2020
By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Oct 5, 2020

ExpressVPN

  • Based in British Virgin Islands, so not subject to international surveillance alliances’ jurisdiction
  • Over 2,000 servers in 148 locations
  • Split tunneling available
Editor's Rating
9.5
/10

CyberGhost

  • Servers in 90 countries
  • Headquartered in Romania, outside of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes jurisdiction
  • Affordable with a variety of subscription options
Editor's Rating
9.1
/10

People use VPNs for a variety of reasons, like to watch Netflix in other countries, to access websites that may be blocked in certain countries, and to hide data from Internet Service Providers. When it comes to brand recognition, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are at the top of their field, two of the most popular VPN options out there. Well, we tested them out extensively to see which one worked better, and here are our findings.

Stuff In Common

First, let’s make sure that you’re in the right ballpark. Here’s what CyberGhost and ExpressVPN had in common.

  • Non-members to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes: Since ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and CyberGhost is based in Romania, neither company could ever be forced to give our data to the government, as neither country is a member of surveillance alliances. Score one for our digital privacy!
  • Kill switches: If either VPN closed or lost connection, our web browsers would too, keeping our activity hidden from our Internet Service Provider (ISP).
ExpressVPN Kill Switch
ExpressVPN Kill Switch
  • Torrenting: Sure, Netflix has a ton of content, but too much is never enough, and that’s why we torrent movies and TV shows, as well. Fortunately, both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN allowed for torrenting, so we could be entertained as much as we wanted (read: near constantly).
  • Split tunneling: Sometimes, we don’t want all of our web traffic to be routed through our VPN; not all of it includes our sensitive information, like when we play Solitaire online during conference calls (we’re listening too, we swear!). CyberGhost and ExpressVPN let us choose which traffic we wanted to go through the encrypted tunnel and which traffic was okay to go straight to the public Wi-Fi network, which even helped our speeds, a little.
  • Netflix access: There’s nothing worse than crawling into bed with a bowl of popcorn, turning on your VPN, choosing that dumb romantic comedy about the Christmas Prince on Netflix, and clicking play, only to see that dreaded error code. You know the one, the one that says “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”.1 While there are many advantages to using a VPN to watch Netflix, like accessing other countries’ entertainment options, Netflix hates VPNs and blocks their servers on an ongoing basis, so while we were able to watch Netflix with CyberGhost and ExpressVPN turned on, we can’t guarantee that this will be true forever, or on all servers.
  • AES-256: Both VPNs use the highest encryption standard, namely AES-256.2 That’s important because it’s how our web activity is actually shielded from view.
  • No leaks: We always test our VPNs not only for their speed, which is important to us, but also for their actual security. We want to make that that our domain names and IP addresses are truly hidden from our ISP with the VPN on, and ExpressVPN and CyberGhost passed with flying colors.
ExpressVPN WebRTC Leak Test
ExpressVPN WebRTC Leak Test
  • Unlimited server switches: Being the experience-enthralled millennials that we are, we travel all over the world, connecting to different VPN servers along the way. But with CyberGhost and ExpressVPN, we could change servers as many times as we wanted under our subscriptions.
  • Apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux: Both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN have apps for the main types of devices that we use, including Mac and Windows computers as well as iPhones and Androids.
  • Live chat support: When we had questions, we simply live chatted with the support staff from either VPN company, which gave us faster responses than filling out an online form.

Stuff That’s Different

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Privacy policies: Privacy is one of the main reasons why people use VPNs, according to our VPN usage study. 40 percent of VPN users use the services for general privacy, so looking at a VPN’s privacy policy is essential. If you’re part of that 40 percent, we recommend ExpressVPN over CyberGhost. Why? Because CyberGhost stored users’ IP addresses and timestamps of connections, while ExpressVPN does not. While neither VPN will log users’ actual web activity, we like to keep our originating IP addresses private, so CyberGhost was a little disappointing in this respect, although they stored our IP addresses in an anonymized format.

Type of DataExpressVPNCyberGhost
Activity logsXX
IP addressX✓*
TimestampsX✓*
Session durationXX
Name
Email address
UsernameX
Payment information
Anonymous app diagnosticsX
App version usedX
Days you connected successfully✓*
What location you connected toX
Country
Internet Service Provider✓*
Sum of data transferred in MBX
Browser typeX✓*
Device typeX✓*
Operating system versionX✓*
Preferred languageX✓*
Battery chargeX✓*
Screen resolutionX✓*
Mobile service providerX✓*

*anonymized

FYI: If your private IP address is something you want to keep as private as possible, go with ExpressVPN over CyberGhost, as it won’t keep logs of your IP address, even in anonymized formats.

CyberGhost Data Logging Policy
CyberGhost Data Logging Policy
  • Number of countries with servers: ExpressVPN has servers in more than twice the number of countries as CyberGhost, 148 compared to 60. Of course, we recommend actually checking out their server lists to make sure that your country is covered, but overall, ExpressVPN has more coverage worldwide.
  • IP addresses: If you wear the same disguise every day, you start to become pretty easy to track, which is the exact reason why we prefer dynamic IP addresses, meaning we get a new IP address every time we connect to a VPN. While this was the case with ExpressVPN, CyberGhost gave us the same address every time we connected, although it was shared with many users. Again, ExpressVPN takes the cake in this category, increasing our privacy with rotating IP addresses.
  • Speeds: Now, speed is something that’s influenced by a number of factors like distance to the server, device type, operating system, browser type, and more, so we urge you to take our speed test results with several large grains of salt. That being said, CyberGhost was faster for us, especially on Macs. No wonder we named it our best VPN for Mac!
ExpressVPNExpressVPNCyberGhostCyberGhost
Device TypeMacWindowsMacWindows
Ping without VPN (in ms)1414149
Ping with VPN (in ms)20191616
Ping Difference43%35.70%14%77.77%
Macbook Download Speed without VPN (in Mbps)37.0562.8837.0569.86
Download Speed with VPN (in Mbps)22.739.7735.9755.4
Download difference (in %)-38.73%-36.75%-2.90%-20.70%
Upload Speed without VPN (in Mbps)25.940.6125.941.21
Upload Speed with VPN (in Mbps)22.1930.9523.9321.57
Upload difference (in %)-14.32%-23.79%-7.60%-47.70%
  • Pricing: Another win for CyberGhost over ExpressVPN surrounds pricing. As you can see from the below chart, CyberGhost is cheaper than ExpressVPN whether you sign up for a month, six months or even a year. In fact, CyberGhost is more than three times cheaper than ExpressVPN if you sign up for a year, costing $2.75 a month as opposed to $8.32 a month. If budget is a concern, sign up for a year of CyberGhost.
1 Month6 Months12 Months
ExpressVPNMonthly Rate$12.95$9.99$8.32
ExpressVPNTotal Amount Billed$12.95$59.95$99.95
ExpressVPNFree Months003
CyberGhostMonthly Rate$12.99$7.99$2.75
CyberGhostTotal Amount Billed$12.99$47.94$49.50
CyberGhostFree Months006

If you want to see the pricing in detail, read our ExpressVPN pricing and CyberGhost pricing pages.

  • Number of simultaneous connections per subscription: Another feather in CyberGhost’s hat is that we could connect up to seven devices at a time under one subscription, while ExpressVPN only allowed for five. Again, not only is CyberGhost cheaper, but you also get more bang for your buck in terms of simultaneous connections.
  • Number of devices per subscription: That being said, ExpressVPN let us connect as many devices to their VPN as we wanted, just not at the same time, while CyberGhost had an overall cap of seven.
  • Apps for Blackberry, routers and Kindle: Although these VPNs work with the most popular types of devices, ExpressVPN also worked with Kindle e-readers, routers and Blackberrys, so if those are the devices you want to encrypt, ExpressVPN is the choice for you.

Tip: Want to encrypt the web traffic on your devices while only connecting one device to a VPN? Connect ExpressVPN to your router; it will automatically encrypt the web traffic on any device on its network.

Which One Would We Recommend?

Overall, we’d recommend ExpressVPN over CyberGhost due to its more robust privacy policy, dynamic IP addresses and a greater number of servers and countries. However, if you’re on a budget, CyberGhost is a better option, especially if you want to connect more than five devices at a time.

We’d recommend ExpressVPN if you want…
  • No logging of IP addresses: ExpressVPN didn’t keep our devices’ IP addresses in any way, shape, or form, unlike CyberGhost.
  • Dynamic IP addresses: ExpressVPN rotated our IP addresses to make us harder to trace online.
  • Unlimited devices per subscription: Although we could only use five devices at the same time, we connected ExpressVPN to as many devices as we wanted while our subscription was active.

But NordVPN probably isn’t for you if you want split tunneling, dynamic IP addresses or fast speeds on Windows.

But CyberGhost is a better option for those looking for…
  • Faster speeds on Mac: For Apple fans like us, CyberGhost resulted in the least lag and the fastest download and upload speeds.
  • Lower prices: Especially if we signed up for a year, we saved money by signing up for CyberGhost.
  • More simultaneous connections: We’re not normally using seven devices at one time (we usually cap it at three), but if we wanted to, we could do so with CyberGhost.

Want to look closer at either VPN and our testing process? Read our ExpressVPN review and our CyberGhost review. All in all, they’re both great options, but since people have their personal preferences and needs, we like to provide as much detailed information as possible.

Citations
  1. Netflix. (2020). Help Center.
    help.netflix.com/en/node/277

  2. Hashed Out. (2019). 256-bit Encryption.
    thesslstore.com/blog/what-is-256-bit-encryption/